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I Can’t Cover What I Am – Did Superman Just Kill That Guy?

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While they’re not explicitly dead, the name of this 1968 issue of Justice League of America is “Time Signs a Death-Warrant for the Justice League!” so I presume the implication of this Mike Sekowsky/Jack Abel cover is supposed to be that they’re all dead…

On this 1964 Dick Dillin/Sheldon Moldoff cover to World’s Finest Comics #139, Robin gives Superman a hard time. Geez, kid, all Superman did was kill the guy!

On the cover to 1968′s World’s Finest Comics #180 by Neal Adams, at least Batman should be honored to be Superman’s first victim!!

Neal Adams and Dick Giordano must know that people were catching on to these fake-out covers, so on this 1970 cover to World’s Finest Comics #202 they tried to make it more explicit…

Ernie Chan and John Calnan have Superman team up with an unlikely ally to kill Batman on 1976′s World’s Finest Comics #239…

This is a beautifully bizarre combo on World’s Finest Comics #186 and 187, where on back-to-back covers (it IS a two-part story, but still, it’s odd to repeat the same exact cover gag on both issues), Superman tries to kill Batman as a witch (Swan penciled each cover, with Adams on inks for the first one and Murphy Anderson on the second)…

I especially dig Batman’s pleading, “No, seriously, does no one see what he’s doing? Come ON, people! You’re literally killing me here!”

Finally, a pair of truly random killings.

Ernie Chan and Tex Blaisdell help Superman off the Atom on this 1976 World’s Finest Comics #236 cover…

and Nick Cardy depicts Superman’s murder of Hal Jordan on this 1975 Action Comics #444 cover…

Man, it sure isn’t safe to be pals with Superman!

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48 Comments

Superman is a dick.

Superdickery at it’s finest.

Tracer Bullet

June 22, 2013 at 5:28 am

To be fair to Supes, who among us HASN’T longed to stand over Jimmy Olsen’s bloody corpse?

Those are always so frikking funny! DC should do a hardcover that only collects those kinda issues! I would eat that up!

I love the “I’ve GOT to!” as Superman tries to smash the Atom. It’s like he picked up the jones for killing little people by crushing the occasional Kandorian, and now he’s full-blown addicted to it.

Superman kills in his movie. DC or probably the studio tries to pattern the boy scout to Logan and Frank’s nature just to make more buck. Make Mine Marvel!!

Man, thanks to perspective, Batman looks like he’s just a little larger than the Atom on the cover to “World’s Finest” #236.

What I find interesting is the utter glee that is depicted on Superman’s face as he taunts or murders his friends.

The man has…issues.

Tom Fitzpatrick

June 22, 2013 at 7:31 am

“The man has…issues.”

What do you expect? The man’s from Krypton. ;-)

I guess it’s self-explanatory, but I really want to know what happens in “The UFO That Stole the USA.”

@Cass
That caught my eye, too.

I read an article or column about Superman and sex, with Lois Lane 102 or 128 (or a very similar cover) used as a spot illustration. The caption under the “I killed Lois” cover read “…I’m that good at sex!”

[...] Superman has sporadically acted very poorly throughout his history and I can prove it. Check on these images HERE. [...]

Funny to see a Superman Pieta cover so long before, well, that one.

I just realized that MAN OF STEEL is actually one big Superdickery cover brought to life. “SUPERMAN! Your battle with Zod destroyed SMALLVILLE — now you’re wrecking METROPOLIS! Why won’t you SAVE us?” “I mustn’t! My father taught me to look out for MYSELF first!”

DC Comics Salutes the Bicentennial… WITH MURDER!

Yes,Lana… It’s true! I killed Lois Lane!

Are you happy?! Happy that “Mister with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men” isn’t perfect and can at times @#$% up?!

So, Superman’s “S” emblem can become “an uncontrollable death ray”? Maybe having him toss it off his chest and wrap around the Phantom Zone villains in SUPERMAN II wasn’t so far-fetched after all.

So the Justice Lord Superman from DCAU was basically Silver Age Superman?

What’s really kind of hilarious is that all of those were approved by the Comics Code. The CC was really pretty ruthless promoting murder and child endangerment!

interesting not only do all these covers prove that super man was a real dick and also a pycho the way he whacked even though close to him but being friends with superman is really bad for ones health .at least no covers of super man murdering wonder woman or super girl or even lex luthor .

I would TOTALLY be down with a collection of these. We got a “Strange Deaths of the Batman” collection, so why not a “Many Murders of Superman” companion volume?

That is a hell of a hook. I would really be tempted to buy a tpb of the many deaths of superman’s friends and lovers.

The Crazed Spruce

June 22, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Am I the only one who saw the cover to Lois Lane 128 and thought, “Larry Niven was right!”?

(And I used to own a copy of that World’s Finest issue co-starring Gold. I lost it in a house fire over a decade ago, though, and I don’t really remember what happened in it. Sorry.)

I’m a Marvel girl… are these legit? If so they’re hilarious.

I’m a Marvel girl… are these legit? If so they’re hilarious.

They’re legit in the sense that they are all actual covers, but the trick is that pretty much every time the cover is a fake-out (like on the cover where Superman is unplugging Lois’s oxygen, it is because it was tangled and there was no air getting into her and her suit was starting to overheat. So he quickly unplugged it and whisked her into the space craft before she died).

I have a copy of Action 444. I bought it because I’m a bit of a GL junkie and loved that cover. The story not too bad if I say so myself (IIRC, Supes ends up wearing Hal’s ring for a while at Hal’s request).

this reminds me of a joke:

Two men are drinking in a bar at the top of the Empire State Building. One turns to the other and says: “You know last week I discovered that if you jump from the top of this building-by the time you fall to the 10th floor, the winds around the building are so intense that they carry you around the building and back into the window.”

The bartender just shakes his head in disapproval while wiping the bar.

The 2nd Man says: “What are you a nut? There is no way in hell that could happen.”

1st Man: “No it’s true let me prove it to you.”

So he gets up from the bar, jumps over the balcony, and careens to the street below. When he passes the 10th floor, the high wind whips him around the building and back into the 10th floor window and he takes the elevator back up to the bar.

The 2nd Man tells him: “You know I saw that with my own eyes, but that must have been a one time fluke.”

1st Man: “No, I’ll prove it again” and again he jumps and hurtles toward the street where the 10th floor wind gently carries him around the building and into the window. Once upstairs he urges his fellow drinker to try it.

2nd Man: “Well what the hell, it works, I’ll try it.” he jumps over the balcony, plunges downward, passes the 11th, 10th, 9th, 8th floors… and hits the sidewalk with a ‘splat.’

Back upstairs the Bartender turns to the other drinker: “You know, Superman, you’re a real jerk when you’re drunk.”

Thanks, Brian!

Spectreguy that’s a great joke. I’ll send I to my Superman-obsessed brother!

They should have used that scene in Superman 3. :)

What was that Daffy Duck cartoon that was on earlier today on Cartoon Network, that had Daffy as a superhero, trying to do all the Superman tropes?

Faster than a speeding bullet – that got interrupted by a Speeding Pullet, and Foghorn taking him to task for it

More powerful than a locomotive – and as he braced to stop it, we see that it’s a toy train with Tweety at the controls that goes between his legs

Finished off with a bit of Superdickery as Superman grabs him and tells him to go find his own Schtick/Turf and tosses him out of Metropolis…..

So, Byrne swipped/homaged that Oskner Lois Lane 128 for X-Men 136?

I think you’ll find that every page of John Byrne’s X-Men was essentially traced from a Bob Oskner comic, mostly Adventures of Jerry Lewis and Welcome Back Kotter. His Wolverine is basically just Sam Simeon with claws.

Love these! On that last cover Superman’s either staggeringly drunk or he’s about to start singing a musical number!

I miss cover blurbs and dialogue!

I own a copy of Justice League of America #63 from way back in 1968. That cover had a profound effect on me as a child for several reasons: A) Why are the costumes of the defeated superheroes shredded as if they were all mauled by a lion? I suppose that could happen to a few of them as Supes was slapping the snot out of them, as he bounced their broken bodies off the edges of brick buildings or something. But all of them? Do Kryptonians have razor sharp fingernails that I am unaware of? B) In re Superman’s proclamation: was there ever any doubt who is quote “the tougher Justice Leaguer of them all”? Couldn’t invulnerable omni-powerful Supes waste regular human Batman anytime he wished? Was this cover scene presaged by Green Arrow flippantly taunting Supes with a nasty “I’m way tougher than you are, smart guy! And so is the Atom!”? C) And finally his mere usage of the term “Justice Leaguer”. I never knew members of the JLA referred to themselves in that way (or at least not regularly). Couldn’t he have just said “the toughest one of all” or the “toughest hero of all”? If JLA members casually referred to themselves as “Justice Leaguers”, they certainly did not do it on the cover of the book. I would venture to state this has remained true for the subsequent 45-year-period. By contrast, Marvel’s Avengers are constantly referring to themselves individually as “Avengers” with the “Avengers Assemble” rallying cry and all that, but has Hawkman ever said to the Flash, “We Justice Leaguers need to stick together”. The phrase just rings oddly to my ear.
Then again, perhaps I’m overthinking it. I had a lot of free time as a child.

If JLA members casually referred to themselves as “Justice Leaguers”, they certainly did not do it on the cover of the book. I would venture to state this has remained true for the subsequent 45-year-period. By contrast, Marvel’s Avengers are constantly referring to themselves individually as “Avengers” with the “Avengers Assemble” rallying cry and all that, but has Hawkman ever said to the Flash, “We Justice Leaguers need to stick together”.

Oh yeah, it happened all the time, both in the stories and on the covers.

http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/justice-league-of-america/42-1.jpg
http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/justice-league-of-america/188-1.jpg
http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/justice-league-of-america/140-1.jpg
http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/justice-league-of-america/109-1.jpg
http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/justice-league-of-america/87-1.jpg

That’s just a small sampling. I found at least 13 other covers with them being called “Justice Leaguers,” and they called each other Leaguers all the time in interior pages.

Here’s Hawkman saying it. Not the exact quote, but that wouldn’t surprise me either.
http://asitecalledfred.com/comics101/images/2005/mar9/birdfriends.jpg

Thanks, Buttler.
Your research is appreciated. I have enjoyed your posts for years.

Since I was flashing back to my perspective as a child, I would also like to add the friendly respectful grateful comment:
Made you look!

Ha! It does have an awkward ring to it compared to Avengers, for sure. I never thought much about it because I was just so used to it. Those poor beleaguered Justice Leaguers.

Action Comics #444 was my first exposure to Green Lantern and Sinestro. “Beware the Hero Killers” . . . I’ll always have a special place in my heart for that story.

Captain Haddock

June 24, 2013 at 9:42 am

I have to say Nick Cardy’s covers still look really great after all this time. I really like the ones with Lois, but what the hell pose is Superman doing on Action Comics 444? It’s almost like it’s Christopher Reeve imitating Urkel

Action Comics #328 was my fav from the list. Pure evil to make the very act of clapping kill everyone. The look on Superman’s face is priceless.

Now that you mention it, Captain Haddock, it DOES look like Superman should be saying, “Did I do that?” on that cover.

wow. Lois is sort of hot dead.

wait, did I say type that out loud!

hmm, Green Lantern is sort of hot dead.

If I was superman I would probably just kill everybody to find out who was hottest. There should really be a story like that is what I’m saying.

Yes Lana I killed Lois and Green Lantern but they’re both equally hot to me! Unfortunately it looks like I must continue on with my murder spree. Now for you and Jimmy!

Eric L. Sofer, the Bad Clown

June 27, 2013 at 8:56 am

Did you neglect Action Comics #358? Beautiful Neal Adams cover… and the follow up Action #359 with the Trial of Superman was touching too. Okay, maybe not THAT touching…

Great cover, yes, but it didn’t fit into the criteria of Superman killing one of his friends, so that’s why I didn’t use it.

Boy, Superman is a jerk.
The best thing about some of these covers is the look on Superman’ face, often smiling with evil glee.
By the way, World’s Finest Comics #236 was one of the very first comics I ever bought!

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